Women and youth most affected by mental health disorders during pandemic, Lancet study finds
Even before the pandemic, mental health systems in most countries were under-resourced and disorganized in their service delivery.
“Meeting the additional demand for mental health services due to Covid-19 will be a challenge, but doing nothing should not be an option,” Santomauro added.
So far, no study has analyzed the overall impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the prevalence of major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders in 2020.
To reach this conclusion, a systematic review of the literature was performed to identify data from population surveys published between January 1, 2020 and January 29, 2021. The systematic review identified 5,683 unique data sources, including 48 (including one reported in two regions) fulfilled the inclusion criteria.
Most of the studies were from Western Europe (22) and high-income North America (14), others from Australasia (5), high-income Asia-Pacific (5), Asia from Eastern (2) and Central Europe (1).
The meta-analysis indicates that the increase in the rate of Covid-19 infection and the reduction in the movement of people were associated with an increased prevalence of major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders, suggesting that the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in 2020 saw the largest increases in the prevalence of disorders.
In the absence of a pandemic, model estimates suggest that there would have been 193 million cases of major depressive disorder (2,471 cases per 100,000 population) worldwide in 2020.